The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

45. How To Put Your Reps in a Position to Succeed and Crush Quota with Brian Birkett, SVP of Global Sales, Leandata

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we chat with Brian Birkett, SVP of Global Sales at Leandata.  Brian walks us through his career journey beginning at Interwoven before finding his calling at Yahoo Hot Jobs and rising up through the ranks.  After a few more jobs, he has now spent over 5 years at Leandata building the team and organization from nothing. He talks about the lessons he’s learned, how to be a great manager, and what he views as the keys to success in a sales career.

One, two, one, three, three. Hi Everybody, it is Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the saleshacker podcast. I am the founder of the revenue collective, which is theexclusive community for commercial executives at growth companies. WERE IN BOSTON, Denver, Toronto, New York, London and Amsterdam. I'm also the host of this podcast. Today we've got a great show. We've got Brian Burkett, who's theSVP of sales at lean data. Lean data is an infrastructure company thatsits between basically your marketing automation and sales force and helps in sure lead toaccount routing and mapping. Works really, really well. It's particularly useful forcompanies that are employing account Bas marketing strategies. They're growing really, really quickly andBrian has a lot of great insights over the course of his career,but particularly from the time when he came out of school and he went towork at interwoven and then he went to work at hot jobs and and througha bunch of opportunities and he's now been at lean data for five and ahalf years and he talks to us about sort of what, why and howhe builds and leads great teams and why he believes that people over index onexperience over hunger drive motivation and that's why his top performing reps are all peoplethat came in as SDRs into the organization. So it's a great interview. Now, of course, we want to thank our sponsors. The first ischorus DOT AI. If you're not using chorus yet, why not? Theyare the leading conversation intelligence platform. They are for high growth sales teams,course, for chords, transcribes and analyzes business conversations in real time to coachReps and how to become top performers. With chorus, more ups meat quota, new hires ramp faster, leaders become better coaches and everyone in the organizationcan collaborate over the actual voice of the customer. So check out CORUS DOTAI, force sale secker to see what they're up to. Our second sponsorsoutreach dot io, and that is outreach. We know outreach. They're the leadingsales engagement platform. Outreach support sales reps by enabling them to humanize communicationat scale and from automating the soul sucking manual work, so all the shitwork. Outreach takes a lot of that away from you. So that youcan focus on action oriented, value added activities that drive results. Outreach hasyour back. If your sales professional coming up in March, outreaches running unleashtwo thousand and nineteen. This is there the great sales engagement conference, andit's going to take place March ten through twelve and San Diego. So writethat down. March ten through twelve. Listeners of the pod get a hundreddollars off simply for entering the code sh pod. Hop over to unleash dotoutreach dot il and use the code S H Pod to save a hundred dollarsoff your ticket. Finally, I hope that you've been nominating people for thesales hacker top fifty awards. We are. We are doing it. We didit last year, we're doing it again. Please nominate your colleagues oryourselves. Winners will be featured on this very podcast and will receive other excitingprizes of which we do not know, but certainly recognition will be coming yourway and bestowed upon you. So get nominating. You can nominate at salesackercomforwards. Nominate. I also want to thank some of the folks that havebeen writing in. So Jackson Jose Chavez from the company clockwork. Thanks forchiming in. He's at a new job and a new role and and reallyhas been deriving a lot of value from the guests on the show. JustinPool Grano, Tyler Gregorson, Matthew Finch, noise in Toronto, who may endup joining the Toronto Revenue Collective, Alex Von Hagen. And Alex,I'm sorry if I miss pronounce your name. Which Pileck, which pelect at collective? I the head of that company, Steve Denton, if someone that I'mvery close with as well. He's an incredible person. Anything a gueston the show. So Jackson, Justin, Tyler, Matthew, Alex and Alex, thanks so much for for reaching out. We love that you're listeningand I hope you nominated yourself for the salesacker top fifty awards. Now thishas been a lot of my talking. We were listening to the podcast earlierthis morning, me and my wife, and normally she doesn't listen and shecommented at the intro this is a lot of talking. Why do you talkso much? And so I'll stop now. Let's listen to the interview with BrianBurkett. Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs and welcome back to the saleshacker podcast. We've got a great show for you. Today we've got BrianBurkett, who's the SVP of sales at lean data. Brian is a longtimesales executive and sales leader. He's responsible for leading global revenue at lean data. Now, prior to lean data, he led a team of senior enterprisereps responsible for Linkedin's largest west coast customers. So we work for Linkedin and hebrings a diverse background in sales management experience banning from startups to large publiccompanies, in both field and inside sales. His previous employers include True Bates,Yahoo, interwoven and the Great State of California, and I could domy schwartzenegger accent there, but I won't. Brian, welcome, welcome to theshow. Thanks Sam. Thanks for having me. It's great to behere where we are excited for it and we're excited to learn more about leandata. So we start to show with the baseball card, which is tohelp us contextualize your expertise. So your...

...name did first of all, isit burquette or Burkett? How do you prefer the pretty? Yeah, okay, sorry, so I will get better. I'm not going to get better rightnow. Brian Burkett, stp of sales lean data. What is leandata? Tell us about that company. So lean data is the leader inhelping you manage your go to market strategy and a platform for a revenue OPSleaders. So we are helping companies, through complex lead to account matching andsophisticated lead routing and an attribution suite, better automate their go to market processesto ensure that leads get to the right reps at the right time every time, and then also help marketers better understand the F efficacy of their campaigns throughdeep analytics around campaign attribution and other solutions like that. Did I see onlink? Is it? Is it folk used on account Bas marketing and maybeis it related to the the separation between leads and contacts and sales force?It is, so we solve that data mode between leads and accounts and it'sreally where we got sort of what sort of our foundation, and anyone that'srunning account based marketing wants to be able to make that connection. So we'renot an ABM platform and that we're doing advertisements or running plays. We arethe infrastructure that allows you to do all that. So without connecting your leadsto accounts, you have despared objects inside your crm and you can't run thosecampaigns. So we are tied in very closely. We got a lot offriends that have ABM and we partner with them to provide that infrastructure, likeI said, so that you can run those campaigns very good and I mightask you a few more questions about it. What exactly is Avm from your perspective? But how big is Lean Dana? What's sort of like? It's aSASS business, I'd imagine. What's the ARR range? Yeah, soright now we're in that ten to fifteen million arr closer to fifteen million,which is really exciting having been there since we were zero. We're ninety fivetotal employees today. We've raised sixteen million in total. We've got some greatinvestors. ARE LEAD INVESTORS SHAFTA ventures. We've had follow on rounds from SapphireVentures, which is the sap venture arm, and then Felicius ventures as well.What else can I tell you? You can tell me how big yourteam is, what functions you have on the team, sort of like SDRsADRs. Just walk us through the structure and the Organization of the team andif there's a focus on mid market versus enterprise versus SMB, just so wecan again using that word again, but contextualize perfect. So the way wehave structured our go to market is that on the new business side we're primarilyan outbound organization. So today we're tied one to one AE to a TR, so we have about fifteen total a's and fifteen a drs. we dohave two segments. So we go after the mid market, which is characterizedas a counts with employee size from a hundred to two thousand, okay,and we have both a mid market team and an ADR team that focuses onthe mid market, and then we have our enterprise team, which is focusedon accounts zero employees and above. In addition to that, we have astrong revenue operations team that supports us. We're building out an am function thatfocuses on up cell. We have a CSM function that is sort of rollsinto our customer Org that focuses on, you know, customers success and retention, and the company's been around for eight years now. Okay, got it. So walk us through your background. We can. We can look youup on Linkedin and figure out. You know, I guess you went toAU. So are you from the DC area? I actually grew up inthe bay area but as it turns out, my mother worked for Stanford and sothey paid half of the equivalency of half of Stanford's tuition to whoever youwant to go. So the time I was into politics and so I choseAmerican. So how walk us through the journey from American many years ago,but not we won't say exactly how many. You can find that on Linkedin ifyou're a loyal listener. But that journey from Undergrad to where you arenow and from your perspective, what are the key milestones, are inflection pointsalong the way that helped take you to this point in your career? Yeah, so I would say there was a couple things that sort of brought meinto sales. One being an international relations major, a fraternity recruitment chair andfraternity president sort of led me to when I was looking for opportunities, Isort of gravitated towards sales rolls and, as I mentioned earlier, how mymom worked at Stanford, she was able to get me into the Stanford JobBoard and so, having sort of a...

...general degree, sales opportunities or sortof entry level sales were ones that I was getting called called back from.But the real reason I got into sales is because in high school, or, let's see, my second to last year of college, I put ita posit with my best friend on San Francisco giants tickets because they were movingto eight or at the time it was pack Bell Park and we didn't wantto miss that and I flew home from school for the first week to openthe stadium and I bumped into one of my high school buddies who said,Hey, you probably need a job. I'm working for a software company andI'll get three thousand dollars. If you don't like it, just quit afterthree months. So there's a couple things that led but the opportunity to workwith some of my best friends in a fun environment where, you know,we were making a lot of money right out of school. You know,my parents were elementary school educators and administrators, and that sort of how I gotinto it and and why I liked it at the beginning. And sohow did you walk us through sort of like your career in the major milestones? It looks like he's spent five years at Yahoo, so tell us aboutthat experience and the journey, particularly from kind of entry level Rep to enterprisewrap to manager. Walk us through that journey. Yeah, so my journeystarts, like I said, at interwoven and in the earl well, likeback into thousand. They were labeled as the fastest growing software company in SiliconValley. So it was a chance to see what high growth sales was,sort of without any exposure to corporate sales. So I did that for a coupleof years. After eleven I decided to go back to what I studiedand took a job working for a California state senator and try to save thestate, if not the world. After I wouldn't call it flaming out ofthat role, but you know, being politely asked to move on after,you know, not not being all that passionate about some of the issues wewere trying to tackle. I made my way back to sales because I realizedthat at the time, and I didn't appreciate this as an early stage professionals, that one it. It came natural to me. It was relatively easyand man, if you want to stay in the bay area you have tomake a decent amount of money. Yeah, so, you know, having workfor the senator who did does a man amazing stuff and is now acongresswoman, you know, it was sort of asked of me to make amove. But you know, I made the decision to go back into salesand at the time I chose Yahoo hot jobs. And so my Yahoo Storystarts on Market Street in San Francisco. That was worse than it is nowand almost in mid market, in this overheated giant sales floor with Ikea desknext to each other where you could touch the two people sitting next to you. There was one bathroom stall like in the middle of the office and therewas like a dirty coffee pot. But I walked in there, sort ofsized up this opportunity and was like there was a buzz about this place.I was like this is what I want to do then. So that wasthe hot jobs group of Yahoo. In some ways it was a step childbecause we weren't on the main campus and Sonnymail. We had our own individualculture. It was a sales culture with a music leaders and it was indowntown San Francisco. So at the time this was prior to a lot oftech being in the city. So culturally was the reason I took that job. And then the other thing is I was interviewing I knew that at somepoint I wanted to lead lead a sales team. I came to that conclusionin my first job and I sort of sized up the opportunity and the folksthat were working with me and it's like, okay, these are people I canspend the next few years with so that I can build a foundation andget that opportunity to manage and build my own team. So started as alowest level sort of str moved into a closing roll after three or four months. It was like an SMB account executive. I was selling to small staffing companiesthat were like one man shop. So getting honed in on sort ofhow to do the transactional business, how to negotiate, but just getting alot of at bats, if you will. From there I moved into like ahybrid inside outside role, which we called the key accounting executive. Workingon sort of a mid tier count I got exposure to some customers and thenI finally got the opportunity to take over a team while the manager went onMaternity League, and so for the first time I got my chance to takeover a team. It was really difficult because I was managing my peers,you know, and we were young, crazy and fun and then all ofa sudden you're thrown into this leadership position...

...and, like I said, that'swhat I always wanted to do. So I think, you know, insome ways it came naturally and I I thrived in that role. When thewoman came back from maternity leave, I was able to keep the team.She was able to get promoted to field sales, which was a great wayto keep her around, and then from there it was just sort of likethis meteoric rise where every year I had a different job. So I thinkat Yahoo in the seven years I had like eight different roles where it went, you know, inside sales manager, and then I got pulled into thisoff side and they're like, guess what, you're now a field sales manager andhere's your new team, and half of them sit in New York.So I got the opportunity to sort of manage remote folks and then I gotpromoted to director, which led the entire sort of west coast inside sales team. So at that point I had like thirty six reps, three managers,you know, a lot larger revenue responsibility. But at that point Yahoo wasn't doingso well and so they had they were going through all the motions andthey decided to divest our business line to monster. So I went through anacquisition. Had to manage through that, but ultimately decided that for me tosucceed, I wanted to build my own team from scrap. So rather thanstay on with monster or go to Linkedin, which at the time was like eighthundred employees and where a lot of my reps web, I decide togo to a series a startup called True Bates, and this one was backby any adventures, Scott Sandels on the board and Shaft Adventures, Robbie Mohan, who was the secondary investor, and this business was awesome. It wasgroup on meets Amazon. So now I'm not even closing deals anymore. I'mjust building a team of really junior, ride out of college folks to coldcall into small, like tiny SMB businesses and stock the shelves for our eCommerce Platform. So you know, we're calling Salon's, we're signing up haircuts, wax has, massages, all these things. And at the time wewere competing head to head from group on and we had launched like seven cities. We grew, grew that team to about forty, but unfortunately we didn'tmake it that one shut down. I was having my second kid. SoI went back to Linkedin to land then do ideally do something a little bitmore stable. But I had stayed in touch with Robbie at Shasta and wewere having breakfast quarterly and I had this phenomenal team at Linkedin. They reallydidn't need to be managed. They were going to hit their numbers sort ofregardless. And so when the opportunity to get introduced Evan, who was theCEO of Lean Dada, came along, I jumped at it. And soyou know my heart is in the in the early stage, and I thinkbuilding something when you know there's no guarantees and you got to figure it out, is really exciting to me. And so that's how I got lean data. So it's my second stint with a Shasta portfolio company. I'd have beenhere ever since. So going back to your time at Yahoo. You knowyou mentioned that you kept getting promoted. If you're thinking about why, youknow why, because you mentioned you know you were in the interview process.It was a lively floor at hot jobs. You know, everything was was fantastic. But also, I'm sure you also said that you recognize in yourfirst job that you wanted to be a sales manager at one point. Sowhen you think about what you were doing really, really well, whether itwas intuition or whether it was feedback or coaching that was being given to you, what do you attribute that to? That people just kept giving you moreresponsibility? What do you think you're really really good at when it comes toleading teams and managing people? I think, at the end of the day,and this sort of I also have coached youth sports and stuff, Ithink that I'm able to get the most potential out of an individual. SoI think that, you know, and I'm very passionate about it too.So the opportunity to work with someone, whether they're early stage, later stageor wherever in their career, and help them realize their potential, I thinkhas allowed me to move up and it's a lot of it has to dowith the individuals, but I think, you know, a little a littlebit of it is sort of the opportunity that I give them. You know, my belief is to set everybody up for success. I can't make themsuccessful, but I have to give them an opportunity to be successful, andI think that really allowed me to move up, because I think people sawthat people, People's careers got better because they work for me. Some havesurpassed me, others have, you know, gone on to be fantastic individual contributors. But I think that that, you know, that's really what Icare about and I think that people managing me saw that and they saw thattheir team could benefit or, you know, people that are hired could benefit byaligning themselves with myself or an organization...

...that I was aligned with. Sowhen you say getting the most out of people, and then you also saidputting them in a position to succeed, like what is if there's a managerout there listening and they're writing down notes and and you want to give themthree examples of what it means to put someone in a position to succeed,give us those three examples or give us an idea. So one is likethe I think you have to be able to show them how to succeed,and that would be done through like training and examples. And then too,I think you really you have to have an innate sort of positivity and beliefthat that they can succeed. So I think. And then third, Ithink that you know, ongoing coaching and just a level of honesty with themto sort of tell them how it is so that they realize one they knowif they're not living up to expectations or they are able to, and thenalso setting the vision for what taking advantage of your potential looks looks like.I think a lot of managers they either don't have the discussion when they're offthe mark or they don't set the bar high enough for them to be ableto take advantage of it. It's like hey, you know, I meanone of the things is I don't really celebrate like at fifty percent or seventypercent or even a hundred percent, because I expect my teams, are myindividuals, to like exceed that. You know, we're one of those rareprofessions where you ring a Gong when you do your job. But like Isee that as my job, you know, and I think I expect the peoplethat work for me to do that as well. Like you, hittingyour number is the expectation. You going above it, like let's celebrate that. So I think you know, as a manager, if you can setsort of the mentality of what you know true achievement looks like and then givethem a path and coached him to that, you know it'll go a long waywith ensuring that you're getting the full potential out of those books. Yeah, that's interesting. So speaking to the point of you know, there's alot of different theories of quota. Is your belief, and I guess broadlydefine one of them as we want seventy percent quote Tam and across the team. Quota is primate. Is a number I need to put into a financialmodel that helps me hit my target. There's another belief where it's quota isalmost like a psychological number and you know it needs to relate obviously to therevenue plan, but really I'm looking for a hundred percent quote attainment by rap, not just meaning you know, my top two reps over attained and theypay for the rest of the team, but I'm really looking for, likeeverybody, to overachieve and as a consequence, the number needs to be low enoughto enable that. Would you say you're in the first camp or thesecond camp? I think I straddle the line on that. You know,what I actually look for is like eighty five percent attainment or better, acrosseighty percent of the team, because I think it's unrealistic to think that,you know, if everybody's hitting a hundred percent, your goals are probably toolow. Yeah, and and so I think that looking at consistent attainment acrossreps and then hit it and as long as that hits your overall hundred percentteam number, I think you're in good shape. And I think you can'tignore one or the other and one is less important, because one you couldhave like an Allstar and the rest of the team stocks right or, youknow, you lose focus on what the team should be doing. So Ithink it's a combination of both and and managing to both of those metrics.Yeah, that makes sense. You know, you were at Linkedin, but you'vementioned a few times, and you're at hot jobs. Obviously big company, but you went to true bates and now you're back at you know,you've been at lean data for five and a half years, but when youstarted it was zero. Now you guys are into the teens, which isan incredible accomplishment. So what do you see is the key differences? Andwhat is it that? What is it about those very early stages of acompany that you're so drawn to? So I think it's the opportunity to makea true impact. You know you can be you know, as you thinkabout your career progression, like you can be a great manager and make animpact on people, but if you go to a larger organization you may actuallynot be impact in the business all that much. And so that was sortof what I felt at Linkedin, like hey, as well as I coulddo. We're talking about a drop in the bucket compared to the overall totalrevenue. So at an earlier stage company, I think you have a greater opportunityand you can really fail, and I think having the opportunity to failforces you to innovate and move quickly. Like when I joined lean data,we did not have the product vision we had today and actually the first productwe had I wasn't able to sell. So I was going to resign,but in the time between when we had the meeting set up with our VCand the time, you know, when I had decided that I would leave, I came up with an idea for the product and I remember sitting theresort of, you know, being pretty...

...melancholy because I was going to haveto tell my wife I left Linkedin for a startup that didn't work out.IDEA POPS in my head. I run over to the head a product andthe head engineering, you know, two of the twelve employees at the time, and I said Hey, if you can build this, I can sellit. And that was to take the lead to account matching and then allthese potential matches and just visualize it. Help me make eighty yards more efficient, right, take one step out of their day. I can go sellthat. And so they built that in like twenty four hours and we wentout. We sold thirty deals of that for like next than nothing. Butall we had to do is prove that we were onto something. So thatmeeting turned into me resigning to launching, to explaining this new product. SoI think that, you know, that really as close as I've been todayto sort of my founder moment and, you know, at the same timedoing what I love, which is, you know, working with people developingthem and closing deals. That's that's an amazing story. Do you feel likeyou still have the same risk appetite? You know, you mentioned children,you mentioned a family. You know it. Does that impact your point of viewon how much risk you can take? And I mean because it does feellike a big risk if you're going from linked in to a super earlystage company? How do you think about your personal risk profile, as youknow, as you get older and as your career advances? Well, personally, I'm really lucky to have a phenomenal wife who has also worked at startupsand she's actually been at an IPO and I haven't. So that takes somebird enough. But you know, I think like everything is a is abalance. You know, it's never not risky. The only real risk atgoing to an earlier stage company, a Middle Stage Company or later stage companyis that you may have to find another job and if you're confident in yourabilities and you have something to add, you know that's really the only risk. Compensation might be a little lower, but they make up upper that,make up for that in equity. So I don't actually think it's all thatmuch of a risk. It comes down to what environment allows you to bethe most successful and ultimately happy. Yeah, I think you're your point as wellmade that you know, you just have to be prepared to find anotherjob and if you can do that then it's not really that risky if youcan get the right experience. One of the questions I have, you know, so we put together like a little one sheet and there's a question thatI asked that I'm just curious on your answer on, which is I askwhat's a commonly held piece of wisdom and start up land that you think istotal bullshit? And you you mentioned something about sort of like the zero tofive, million, five to twenty. Walk US through your perspective on onon that answer and tell us a little bit about the context. Yeah,so I think every every VC and every sort of early state startup goes throughthese different phases. There's like, you know, zero two, one,maybe one hundred and twenty five, you know, five to twenty or fiveto ten, and sales leaders get typecasted as a certain type of leader andso, you know, in my case they're like yeah, you can dozero two five, and so from personal experience, I think investors, youknow, they're looking to mitigate risk in their investment. So they always wantsomeone who has done it before given the opportunity. But what happens is youcould be doing just fine as a zero five guy, raise a series beand and say, okay, we want to go faster, we're going tobring in someone from the outside who's done this before, without giving the personthat's been in there and opportunity. So I was really fortunate that this happenedto me, but they kept me around and so when we had raised seriesbe, we had brought on a crow for six months and, you know, great guy, but unfortunately it didn't it didn't work out and the businessactually took a step backwards. When I took the team back on, wewere actual actually able to get a lot of things right, get get thingsback on track and then double the revenue and put us back on a newtrajectory. So I would say to you know, the BEC's that are listening. I was like, if you have someone that's really good, give theman opportunity. Don't just type cast someone without giving them a fair shot.I started my networking group, the reven to collective, exactly partially for thatpoint. So I completely agree with you when, when you think about that, you know, and by the way, the brief cro stint, whether youknow whether whoever it is, is very, very common because, youknow, integrating New People into an organization that already has a culture, ina way of doing business is actually much harder, particularly at the senior levels. So what do you think you did different? We don't need to,you know, reflect too much on who, on the person, whoever they were. But you know, what is it that you think you did whenyou took over the team that helped drive that that business forward? You mentionedthat. You know, you pride yourself on operational efficiency. Talk to usabout you know, what do you think are the samples of operational efficiency thatwe could find in lean data? So yeah, so one thing is wewent back to really doubling down on being AC count based from a sales perspective. So, you know, rather than...

...cover every geography, we use datato figure out who has the highest propensity to buy amongst our target accounts andthen what we did is said, let's just cover those because right now likeand let me ask you, let me in reb you a real quick sowhat data is it? Big Sales Force customers, because they must be having, you know, they must be swearing the most amount. We need toaccount mathing. So absolutely so. For us, we're built completely on salesfor so they had to have sales force, but we really solve a lead routingproblem. So one of the data points we need is people with leadvolume and then complex selling motions. So the more functions you have like stra, Dr Ae, field, AE, account manager, channel sales, thatmakes your routing requirements more complex. So we look for businesses that havethose criteria and you can get that through job titles on Linkedin, size ofthe sales team. But the other piece that we had always missed out onwas lead volume. So you can be totally complex, but if you haveno leads, you don't really need us either. So we found a dataprovider that tries to equate how much a company is spending on Google ad words, because add words translate to leads. So with those, you know,generalizing sort of. Those those three data points helped us be more methodical andwho we get after. And like at our stage, I don't have tosell to everybody and so it's a lot easier for me to spend a morefocused effort with fewer reps after better accounts than to just say hey, let'scall everybody in the southeast and figure out, you know, if lean data isthe right fit. That makes the tremendous amount of sense. was therea trigger you were specifically looking for if they fit those three demographic profiles?The trigger is something that we've sort of struggled with. That that's the hardpart for our business because it is sort of infrastructure. But, you know, expanding the revenue ops sort of domain or functionality, seeing sort of peoplecome into that role helps a lot because we really sit at the intersection ofsales and marketing. So potentially, like adding marketing automation or seeing a spikein ad spend means that there's increased volume or increased hiring, and certain rolescould be trigger events as well. And then we know that, hey,with more people comes more complexit, more complexity, with more data comes morecomplexity and you're starting to look a lot like the people were helping today andwe can help you be more efficient. Yeah, it's really smart when whenthe one to one s SDR to a count executive ratio is not common.It's obviously great for the ease are you? Are you on a tight leash withthe CFO to, you know, make sure unit economics and CACT LTVare holding up, or have you run the numbers yourself and you feel likeyou know the math and and you know it works? It's fin I mean, I realize it's not sustainable, but I think, as you're as we'rebuilding out the channel, we probably over indexed on a DR spend versus marketingspend. So over time, as our brand build, obviously we're going toget more efficiencies from every from other leverage points within the business. So Ifully expect, you know, that ratio to go down and then you'll seesome of that spend on head count shift to, you know, our channelprograms, marketing programs or other ways that are just more efficient. But atthe beginning you can't be helped down hustlers. But yeah, I mean you needthe business and you need to demonstrate that there's something there and then andthen we can shift the spend. Now you've you're also huge proponent. Youknow, you keep you both in terms of what you mentioned about Yahoo andabout being, you know, putting people in a position to win, alsobeing a youth sports coach, but it's clear that you're a believer in kindof hustle over experience. Talk to us about your philosophy, because so manypeople, as the companies grow, you know, to exactly to the zero, two, five and five to twenty point, there becomes, you know, a profile that they need to hit for different positions in a certain amountof years of experience. What's your perspective on kind of experience versus versus rawtalent and versus hunger and the how do you build a team? Yeah,so I don't want to discredit experience. I just think that you shouldn't overlookthe folks that grow up in your organization that have no experience. So youknow what I figured out over time and what I've done with my adrs.And it's hard because we're constantly turning over that team because we're doing a lotof promotions. Half my AE's today have been promoted from the ADR ranks andwe've also promoted like three or four ADRs over to the CSM ranks. Andso what I what I realized that happens when you promote internally from an ADRa. You can start to transition them in way before they actually take onthe role of a and so you can...

...almost have a fully ramp rep witha full pipeline ready to go when you transition them to a and so froma metrics perspective and from a cost perspective it's a lot better. And likeculturally, it's just phenomenal to be able to take someone potentially right out ofschool that doesn't have any bad habits teach them, you know, first andforemost about ICPN personas as an a Dr, how to connect with people and getin the door and then take them to the next level and help themunderstand how to work a sales process, negotiating clothes and demo. So forme it's something that's worked really well. I think you have to supplement itwith people from experience, but I think that you know if they're if there'ssales leaders out there, managers out there that are like, Oh, I'mI'd rather just hire completely from the outside because I need someone with X YZ, I think that you're probably overlooking a great resource and I'd say thata lot of companies actually don't believe in promoting their adr stay's. That's whythere's so many great ones out there that have like twelve months of experience thatyou know would rather bounce than stick around because they know that they're not goingto get an opportunity. Yeah, I mean one question I have for you. You mentioned building a pipeline before the promoted. Now they're paired with anAE. How do you deal with a situation where you know the AE maybeisn't where they want to be from a quotea perspective and they feel like thestr are siphoning off leads to build their personal pipeline and anticipation of promotion?How do you manage that tension? So we're a team first and foremost,and you know it. Like I said that the name on the Front ofthe Jersey is more important than the name in the back, and I thinkwe try to hire a e's with that vision, that buy into that typeof culture and so they understand that at a certain point there a tre youknow, if they're any good will want to move to an a or CSMroll, and so it is a difficult scenario that you talk about where theymay not be doing as well. But what we do is we limit theA tr on the new business side to creating like five opportunities. So it'sstill just a fraction of their time. And I think if you, youknow, if you walk around sales floors or you talk to reps, likemost reps have more time and aren't totally efficient with their time. So it'seasy to go back to the REP and have a conversation like you know,hey, me, taking ten percent of your eighty rs time to give theman opportunity to develop and contribute to the company. You know, if youcan't see why that's good for US overall, as you know, shareholders in thisbusiness, then you know it's probably not the right cultural bit for thattype of a well, yeah, or again, I mean maybe. I'msure there's a lot of folks that don't even take the time to give thatexplanation and I think the you know, to your point about being a greatleader and manager, if you take the time to give the explanation in thecontext, that probably goes a very long way with a yeah. I meanit works for us. You know, it may not work at scale,you know if you have a hundred eighty urs, but you know it issomething that's worked really well for us in the early days. Is like oneit's we're down in Sunnyvale it's hard to hire reps, you know, there'sjust a you know, we're it's not like the city where you can walkout and find a sales rep standing next to you on the on the corner. So you know, we have challenges when it comes to getting to findinggreat folks, and so it's in our best interest to give people opportunities todevelop get better, you know, and everybody wants an opportunity to prove themselves. Obviously we have many folks in the bay area, but many folks thatare not so explain to everybody. First of all, why does a companythey put themselves in Sunny Vale when more young people are living in the city? Is it to recruit great engineers and then explain everybody? That's how they'relistening. The distance between basically the valley and Sunnyville and mountain view in thosethe cities and and downtown San Francisco. So let me go through the geographyfirst. So San Francisco's is the tip of the peninsula and then if youwere to go south about forty miles, you'd hit San Jose. Historically,you know, the innovation started in San Francisco, but about ten years agoa lot of the fast growing startups, especially around Sass because of what salesforce is doing, moved to San Francisco, a suburb of San Jose, isSunnyvale, where we are located, which historically has been like chip manufacturers, like really old school tech. So we have like amd is near USand applied materials and all these tech companies you wouldn't necessarily associate as tech anymore. They're almost like manufacturing companies probably, but anyways, we're in sunny mailbecause our founders are a little bit older. They have families. You know,when people in the city have families, they moved to the peninsula or theSouth Bay because there's a little bit...

...more land. It's still incredibly expensive, but it's a different way of life and I think you know the cityhas actually very few children in it and so because our founders have families,they started the company probably closer to where they live, which is Sunnyvale.There is an advance and age that if family type people are what you're lookingfor, you can get more of that. But it does make a challenge tohire the fresh right out of school because a lot of those sort ofstr type recent college grads gravitate to where the action is, which is,you know, more so in San Francisco. Yeah, it does, it does. It feels difficult. I hear you. Listen. We're almost atthe end of our time together and this has been a great conversation. Oneof the things we like to do, though, is we like to figureout what are your influences and, you know, what is the WHO arethe people that have had an impact on you, and what are some ofthe you know, the books or the or the content that you consume that'shad an impact. So when you think about specifically that, you know,sales and marketing leaders, because we you know, it's just important, Ithink, to spread the love around. Who are the people that you reallyrespect, or who's the person that you really respect when you're thinking about peoplethat had have had an impact on your career? Yeah, so there's there'sa couple folks that I had exposure to at Yahoo and most recently that wasour GM Chris Merritt, who's now the CRO cloud flare, and he comesfrom more of an operational background. So I think I learned a lot ofoperational excellence from him and how to manage the overall team and manage through change. Prior to that, I had exposure to some really phenomenal leaders. Oneis the CEO at Yelp who was their first head of sales, Jed knockman. He always built phenomenal team with a great culture, and so I thinkI learned how to how to treat people from watching Jed. And then therewas another sales leader who's the head of sales add indeed, that was there. That was Nolan Ferris, and he was just you know, watching himbalance sort of tough you know, having tough conversations to get the most outof reps is something that he did really well, and so I learned thatfrom him. And then, you know, right now I have an advent.We have an advisor named todd rule on Miller, who's actually featured inthese PBS specials because he was the first head of sales at Netscape and hewas also at next computing. So he worked with like mark and Reesan,you know, Steve Jobs to build these businesses. So much more experience thanme. You know, has sat on multiple boards, but getting the perspectiveacross sort of breath of these companies that have really become game changers, likethink about netscape right, the first web browser. I know you know havingexposure to work with him has been helpful as well, and so I thinkthose are those are the type of leaders that that I've been fortunate to havecome across in my career that have really made an impact. That's fantastic.Any parting words, life principles, life mottos give us something inspirational as weas we head into our day and the rest of the week. So Ijust talked about this at our sales kickoff and I think that you know,all of us have chosen a specific opportunity. You and you know it's really allyou can ask for is to have an opportunity. So I would challengeeverybody that's listening to the podcast and you know your opportunity is unique. Youknow, what are you going to do to take advantage of it right andhow special is the opportunity that you have? Because you don't they don't always comealong very often. So if you're somewhere special and it truly is unique, take full advantage of that. Figure out where you're going to do,you know, to make sure you don't miss it. Like opportunities don't comealong that often, especially like an opportunity like I have. So I'm alwaysthinking about how am I not going to fuck this up right so take age. But you know, I mean it's incredible the opportunities that we have andI think that, like sometimes we need to step back and just say likehey, how how wonderful is it to even have it in the first place, and then how am I going to take advantage of it? I loveit and you're right, a recurring theme of this podcast and of life ingeneral is when opportunity knocks, you got to answer that door, you gottago. Don't think too much about it, because the window doesn't stay open verylong, and I've just mixed a door and a window in terms ofthe metaphors that I'm combining. If folks are listening to this, Brian,and they want to get in touch or they want to apply for a jobor just, you know, seek you out for advice, are you opento that and, if so, what's your favorite mechanism for being contacted?is an emails at Linkedin. How should we reach out to you? Reachout to me on Linkedin or you can email me as well. It's Brianat lean data Acom awesome. Brian at lean data inkcom. Brian will talkto you on Friday with Friday fundamentals,...

...but for now, thanks so muchfor being part of the salesaccer podcast and and we'll talk to you soon.Thanks, Sam. It was great to be here. I folks Sam Jacobs. This is SAM's corner. Another fantastic interview, this time with Brian Burkett, sep of sales at lean data. Brian was there from the first customerat zero and now they are in the mid teens in rr and growing nicelywith a lot of operational efficiency it. Brian talked a lot about what itmeans to be a great manager and how he handled that, and I thinkhe talked a lot about helping people see the potential for themselves, helping clarifyexpectations. We talk a lot about that on the pod and then push it, putting them in a position to succeed. And I think when we when wedrilled down, we figured out that being put in a position to succeedmeans getting the right training, getting the right call, coaching and creating acoaching organization. So certainly a platform like our sponsor chorus is a way todevelop a training culture within an organization that puts people in a position to succeed. Of course you have to have a close alignment with marketing because you needenough leads to succeed. And and I think it's also about just understanding thevalue proposition in the ICP and focusing on the right accounts, the right opportunities. They talked about how, you know, they went from sort of a sprayand pray approach. They really focus down. They created smaller opportunities,smaller territories, but territories of the right companies, and so they you know, if you listened, he said we were looking for people that used alot of sales force, so big sales force customers, because obviously lean datasits on top of sales force, and people that generated a lot of leads, a lot of leads with complex selling motions. That sits on top ofsales force. That was their three, kind of the three criteria that neededto be met for their ICP. The other thing that I would say thatthat Brian said. You know, we all live in a world of Heuristics, mental models that have that enable us to go through the reality. Infact, most people say consciousness is self is a mental model. This weare constantly parsing information and and basically taking shortcuts so that we can operate inthe world. Obviously, if we we ingested every piece of information that wasout there, every piece of data, every sense that our censors detected,we would be overwhelmed. So our brains are in the business of ignoring lotsof things and focusing on models and shortcuts. That enables to get shit done.But one of those areas where we sometimes fall short as this idea ofexperience. And you know, you hear about it when you when you're talkingabout is she the zero to five million dollars crow or the five to twentymillion dollars crow? You hear about it when you're when you're sort of beingtypecast. The challenge that you face as you grow as a company is thatyou think what you're doing is raising the bar, but you're raising the floorand lowering the ceiling at the same time when you specifically higher and focus onlyon resume, to the detriment of hunger, motivation and capability. And that iswhy so many early stage companies, they have these employees that are sortof Jack of all trades. They know the product incredibly well. At axealit was Dan Lee. We called him Hawkeye. He was the eye onthe sky that understood and everything about the business. Now, Dan came tothat business fresh out of Undergrad from Harvard, admittedly, but he would not havefit a profile for a head of revenue operations or ahead of sales.He just didn't have the right experience. So everybody was wandering around, youknow, five years later, saying how do we find the next Dan Leagwill you by mandating a certain level of experience, you are you are precludingyourself from the opportunity to find the next great, hungry young person that cando amazing things within your organization. That doesn't mean that experience isn't worthwhile,and if it wasn't worth anything at all, I would be unemployed permanently because allI have is experience at this point, but maybe a little bit of knowledge. But but just think about that. As you scale and as you growand look back at your job descriptions, are you asking for five to sevenyears of experience? Do you know what that means? Is that isthat really what you need? Maybe sometimes it is. Sometimes you do needthat experience, but I would stress test the experience requirements on a job description, especially if they're being driven by HR and not by the sales team orthe marketing team that needs those folks, because there's lots and lots of peoplethat come into organization with absolutely no skills or experience at all and they becomeall stars. And if you're asking yourself three, five, seven years later, why can't we find another Danlee, there's a reason. It's because youare not letting yourself interview. You are not giving yourself the opportunity to developand grow the next Dan Lee. We don't know if Danley's listening to this. He's somewhere in Denver Colorado, but Dan if you're out there, welove you. Now for show notes and for all of the things, headon over to sales hackercom. You can find a full list of our podcastsand you can see previous guests and listen to all kinds of great stuff.You can also, of course, I'm supposed to read copy that says youcan find us on Itunes, Google, quite play, but if you're listeningto this, you know where you can...

...find us, because you're listening toit. Sort of self evident. At any rate, if you enjoyed theshow, please share it with your peers on linked in, twitter or elsewhere. Get a great idea or guests for the show, get in touch withme. Find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs. Are On linkedin atlinkedincom. Slash the word in and then Sam f Jacobs. We'd love tohear from you. Big shout out to our sponsors for this episode. Chorus, the leading conversation intelligence platform. Please give Corus a shot. There GreatCompany and outreach. The leading sales engagement platform, another fantastic company. Sochorus and out each other reason that we're able to give you this this amazingcontent. Will see you next time and I hope to see you at onleash in March in San Diego.

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